USU/CEU merger draft bill underway

The College of Eastern Utah and USU affiliation document is underway, passing through legislation and predicted to be finalized by the end of the legislative session in the middle of March.The bill is in protective status and has not been numbered and released to the public, said Michael Kennedy, special assistant to the USU president for federal and state relations. Kennedy said the bill is drafted and will appear to the Senate Education Committee, also known as the standing committee, and will, from there, be given to the House of Representatives.Kennedy said, during a higher education committee Wednesday, the 5-percent budget cut for next year was discussed and spoke in theory about what could happen to CEU if it does not affiliate with USU. He said CEU would, in essence, need to take financial exigency, but it is unlikely the university’s situation will go to those measures.One question asked by the higher education committee is how much the fiscal bill will amount to. However, the committee will not know the budget numbers of the next fiscal year until February, Provost Raymond Coward said.Kennedy said if this year’s fiscal numbers turn out low, the appropriations committee is prepared to manage the complications that arise.”The bill is being worked on by lawyers and fiscal analysts,” Kennedy said. “We are building it on the memorandum of understanding that Albrecht and King signed and was approved by the Board of Regents.”

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